Velvet underground: May 1-7

 

Beach volleyball, Cinco de Mayo and lingerie. Not necessarily in that order.

velvetunderground may
Paul and Samantha Mc laughlin enjoy lunch at Jaguar Ceviche. Photo: Gaston de Cardenas
 

By Lesley Abravanel

Although some people are in denial about the state of the economy, clubland is undeniably feeling the pinch. One club owner who wanted to remain anonymous told us that if it weren't for corporate events, he'd be out of business, adding that he's giving out more drink tickets because people who do want to be able to turn their lights on when they get home just aren't spending like they used to.

That said, the beach must go on, and this weekend is no exception, when the Sunshine State Slam Beach Tennis tour hits the sand at 10 a.m. Saturday on Ocean Drive between Eighth and Ninth streets. But you needn't spend all day out in the hot sun: The women's pro division finals are at 7 p.m., with the men's following at 8.

Thankfully, things are still pretty cheap and the dollar holds strong in Mexico, which is even more reason to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at, say, Rosa Mexicano, which introduces its tableside margarita and shot carts as well as special Cinco de Mayo menu additions from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on, of course, the fifth of May.

For something even more multi-culti, Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar in the Grove has joined forces with its French neighbor Le Bouchon for Fete du Cinco de Mayo, where mariachis, margaritas and specialty appetizers from France and Mexico will contribute to a most festive fifth. Party goes from 8-11 p.m. For those wondering what France has to do with Mexico, Google "Batalla de Puebla'' and you'll find out.

Meanwhile, because Team Aniston has the Mandarin Oriental's beach basically off-limits to us regular Miami folk, consider checking out the Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, especially on Sundays around 3 in the afternoon when a DJ spins a soothing Hotel Costes-esque soundtrack for a most mellow, laid back crowd.

Another hidden gem is Our Secret Consignment at 110 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, we've found more than a bounty of fabulous, affordable, recession-friendly furniture, accessories and jewelry. On Friday, May 2, a sixth-month anniversary party is open to the public from 6-9 p.m., sponsored by neighboring Portofino Wine Bank, where many a bold-facer has been known to pop in for a pop or two. In addition to the free spirits compliments of PWB, the party will also showcase the works of artist Nestor Paz and jewelry designer Leslie Lacombe.

More shoptailing takes place from 7-10 p.m. at EA Lingerie at 900 South Miami Ave. in Mary Brickell Village Friday night, May 2, when Ocean Drive Español is hosting a fashion show slash cocktail fete that's sure to be, at the very least, revealing.

Back on the beach, the Raleigh kicks off its new happy hour from 5-8 p.m. Friday that runs every Friday through the summer featuring a live DJ and St. Germain Champagne cocktails at a reduced price in the hotel's resplendent terrace garden.

Nearby at the Townhouse, 150 20th St., there's a return to the hotel's Friday night rooftop parties starting at 10 p.m. Friday, May 2, where old-school hip-hop and even older-school no bottle service will be available until 2 a.m. For those who want to keep their cocktails close and flowing, however, the Townhouse is offering pre-mixed carafes of various drinks, including vodka and cranberry, gin and tonic and Vodka and Redbull. Best of all, no guest list and no cover charge.

And finally, before you start saving your pennies for a rainy, recession-y day, consider going all out at Havana Nights Saturday May 3 at Grove Isle Hotel and Spa, where, for $125 per person or $200 per couple, you could try your luck at roulette, poker, blackjack and craps all benefiting the Mercy Foundation. Dress code is ''Guyabera Chic," and tickets include cocktails and dinner. The betting starts at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 305-285-2711. That is, if you've managed to pay your phone bill this month. Good luck!

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